More than $90,000 raised after Minnesota mosque 'terrorist' attack

More than $90,000 raised after Minnesota mosque 'terrorist' attack
3 min read
08 Aug, 2017
The director of a US mosque that was targeted with a bomb during morning prayers early on Saturday has applauded the local community for their response to the attack.
Minnesota is home to the largest Somali community in the US [Getty]
More than $90,000 was raised to support a Minnesota mosque that was bombed earlier this week, as anger grows over US President Donald Trump's silence.

Community members responded to the apparent hate crime by launching two online fundraisers on Sunday which have since collected $90,281 in just three days.

Mohamed Omar, the director of the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center, expressed gratitude toward the community for the outpouring of love and support in the wake of the attack, which has been largely ignored by local media.

Omar described the attack as "horrific and tragic" but told the Associated Press, "on the other hand, good people came out, and they outnumber that one bad guy, and we are so pleased and so happy to see this community coming together in our support".

The mosque was bombed early on Saturday as worshippers inside prepared for morning prayers, in what is being treated as a possible Islamophobic attack.

Trump has yet to publicly condemn the attack or offer his support to the community.

"We invite the president to come and see — to come and see what happened," Omar told BuzzFeed News

"He is the president of this country, and this happened to us. He has to come here and at least express his feelings and say this is bad."

Meanwhile, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton called the attack "an act of terrorism".

The centre was damaged but no one was injured when the explosive device went off at around 5am in the suburban Minneapolis mosque, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said.

Windows of the imam's office were shattered, either by the blast or by an object thrown through them, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

One worshipper saw a pickup truck speeding away shortly after the explosion, said Mohammed Omar, the centre's executive director.

He said the mosque, which primarily serves people from the area's large Somali community occasionally receives threatening calls and emails.

"We came to this country for the same reason everyone else came here: freedom to worship," Yasir Abdalrahman, a worshipper at the mosque told the newspaper.

"And that freedom is under threat. Every other American should be insulted by this."

Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, described the attack as a firebombing.

Saturday's bombing comes amid a rise in reports of Islamophobic incidents in the US, including arson attacks and vandalism at mosques, harassment of women wearing hijabs, and bullying of Muslim schoolchildren.

In Minnesota, an Islamic cemetery in Castle Rock Township recently reported it had been vandalised with spray painted profanities and swastikas.

The mosque in Bloomington, just south of Minneapolis, serves as a religious centre and community organising platform for Muslim activists and leaders in the area, according to the society.

The group is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest or conviction.

A $10,000 reward also is being offered by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. The group said its national office is urging Islamic centres and mosques to step up security.

Minnesota is home to the largest Somali community in the US, roughly 57,000 people, according to the latest census figures.

The immigrants have been coming to Minnesota from their war-torn homeland since the 1990s.